More than nine years ago, Caitlin and Elizabeth Harty were teammates on the Dublin Scioto High School girls swimming and diving team.

While the sisters' athletic careers have taken different paths since the 2009-10 season with the Irish, they remain strong supporters of each other's endeavors.

Caitlin, a 2010 Scioto graduate, continues to swim by competing in triathlons, which also consist of running and cycling, while Elizabeth, a 2013 Scioto graduate, competes in rifle.

"We're not in the same sport anymore," Elizabeth said. "We're in different sports. All I know is you have to swim fast, bike fast and run fast. I just say (to Caitlin) go, go, go as fast as you can and just keep training hard. We're still the same sisters in different sports."

"We were always very competitive," Caitlin said. "It's very different now. We're in different sports. We support each other more now."

Caitlin, 27, is preparing to compete in the International Triathlon Union's World Triathlon Grand Final for the second time Aug. 31 in Lausanne, Switzerland. She qualified for the event by placing eighth at the Draft Legal Sprint Triathlon National Championships last October in Sarasota, Florida, where the top 10 finishers advanced.

Caitlin competed in her first World Triathlon Grand Final in September 2017 in Rotterdam, Netherlands, finishing 46th of 56 competitors in the 25-29 age sprint division in 1 hour, 28 minutes, 48 seconds.

"I want to see if I can place higher this year," said Caitlin, who still lives in the Columbus area. "I want maybe top 30. I'll know how the competition is going to work. I definitely won't be as new to the world championships with that little bit of experience."

To help prepare for the World Triathlon Grand Final, Caitlin will compete in the USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships on Sunday, Aug. 11, in Cleveland. The sprint event consists of a 750-meter swim, a 20-kilometer bike ride and a 5K run along the shore of Lake Erie near downtown Cleveland.

Caitlin has competed in the ITU event in Bermuda the past two years, including finishing third (1:20.44) in the 25-29 sprint division in April.

"I've decided to concentrate on the sprints right now," said Caitlin, who swam for the University of Evansville.

"When I was training for the Ironman, I did all of (distances) and it's hard to focus on multiple distances, so I decided to train for the sprints this year. ... Biking is becoming my favorite event just because there's a little thrill with it."

Elizabeth, 24, attended Michigan, where she swam for one season before developing a passion for competing in rifle.

"Ever since we were little, we shot handguns with our dad (Matt) every once in a while," she said. "We're athletes, we're competitive, so when we went to the range, we would compete who could shoot better. I swam at Michigan and then decided to make that switch and try out for the rifle team. No expectations. I just wanted to give it a try and I was pretty good at it. I've picked it up pretty quick."

Elizabeth competed in the National Rifle Association's National Smallbore Rifle Championships held July 16-28 in Bristol, Indiana, finishing in the top 12 to earn a spot on the U.S. women's Randle Team.

She last qualified for the Randle Team in 2017, helping the United States defeat Britain 2,304-2,289 in Bisley, England.

According to Elizabeth, the next world competition for the Randle Team is in 2021 and she will need to qualify again for the team.

Elizabeth's busy summer also has included representing the U.S. in the 100th Scottish Rifle Meeting held June 29-July 5 in Lauder, Scotland. Competing in the Class A division for the first time, she finished 34th of 65 competitors.

Her competitors included Michael O'Connor, who was her coach at Michigan.

"It was a very challenging competition to shoot in," said Elizabeth, who resides in a suburb of Indianapolis and will be getting married in September.

"It took a lot of mental concentration and focus. It was the most difficult but most fun competition I have done. I learned a lot and I am excited to return to shoot better in the Scotland winds.

"It's that international factor that I'm just obsessed with. It's a different world over there compared to our shooting events here. It feels like a carnival and a family picnic internationally."

Elizabeth said her long-range goal is to compete on the U.S. women's air rifle Olympic team.

fdirenna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekFrank